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Poly basketball star Justin Lewis commits to Marquette

Poly basketball star Justin Lewis commits to Marquette
Poly's Justin Lewis dunks over top Reservoir's Ryan Saunderson and Josh Odunowo, right, during the Class 3A boys basketball state championship at University of Maryland. (Brian Krista / Baltimore Sun Media Group)

Poly basketball star Justin Lewis has made a commitment to play at Marquette University.

The 6-foot-7, 220-pound forward, a rising senior and two-time All-Metro first-team pick, has been instrumental in the Engineers’ past two Class 3A state championships.

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Last season, he averaged 17.3 points and 9.2 rebounds as a dominant inside-outside force. He finished with 16 double doubles while adding 3.4 assists and 3.2 blocks per game.

“[Marquette] really stood out in the recruitment process and were always there — even after some bad games — giving me feedback and stuff," said Lewis, who transferred to Poly from Calvert Hall after his freshman year. “It feels good knowing that all my hard work is paying off. It just makes me want to keep pushing to get more out of it.”

Rated a four-star prospect and the No. 59 overall recruit in the nation by ESPN, Lewis chose Marquette over offers from several other Division I schools, including Maryland and Connecticut.

Patterson's Jalen Willis, left, knocks the ball away from Poly's Justin Lewis in the second quarter of boys basketball game.
Patterson's Jalen Willis, left, knocks the ball away from Poly's Justin Lewis in the second quarter of boys basketball game. (Kenneth K. Lam, Baltimore Sun)

Marquette is coached by Cardinal Gibbons and Duke graduate Steve Wojciechowski, who will enter his sixth season. The Golden Eagles went 24-10 last season and finished in second place in the Big East, making their second NCAA tournament in three years.

“Across the board, they did a great job of recruiting,” Poly coach Sam Brand said. “Wojo was very active, very passionate about Justin being his first Baltimore guy out there and really wanted to make it happen. So, he did a great job with that Baltimore connection.

"So, in terms of what they have in the 2020 class — being a big one for them and Justin spearheading it — Marquette just seemed like a really good fit across the board.”

For Lewis, finding a match is exciting and a relief.

“Now I can just enjoy my senior year knowing where I’m going and can focus more on getting better and accomplishing more of my goals,” he said.

Brand expects further growth from Lewis with a big senior season ahead, and the Engineers looked primed to win a fourth straight state crown.

“He put forth a lot of effort into his growth since he came here,” Brand said. “The cool part about it for me was I watched him earn everything. The offers came in because he would have a big game against a big-time opponent. A lot of times it comes off mixed tapes or hype, but I just feel like Justin earned every opportunity he got through his hard work and play, and that’s the best way to get it.”

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